Tuesday, December 28, 2010

This is why:


Another year draws to a close. I’m not generally given to philosophical discourse (not here, although I’m known to get quite animated at gatherings of friends!), but I thought I’d say a few words.
2010 has been a year of highs and lows. The flow of change has wreaked havoc with my ability to write, while the periods of waiting has stifled my creativity. This has reflected in blog posts also, as well as a lack of attention to my Facebook Page. Without going into detail and boring you with the tale, allow me to briefly explain that my family and I moved down to New Zealand...and the paperwork has been a nightmare! Very hard to give all one’s attention to a manuscript or social interaction when one waits for a permit!
Still, I did manage the technical side of crafting Tales from the Path of Shades for upload on Smashwords. And that deserves a pat on the back, even if only from me, myself and I! Here’s to a fantastical 2011 that allows me not only to market my work, but also to delve the realms of new work. And watch this space for uploads of more Tales (yes, those are done, just need tweaking for ebook format).
I guess I’m saying it’s been a hard year, but despite it this writer hasn’t surrendered. In fact some of my best chapters were written under immense stress (I know every writer can identify with that!) and I certainly haven’t run out of ideas.
I don’t usually talk about myself- I prefer talking about my work in these spaces- and yet I have to admit this year has forced work and personality into a greater symbiosis. Lessons have been learned and thus I enter 2011 with new insights...and hope you will join me on the journey!
CARPE DIEM!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

BLURB CONTEST!


A complete copy of Gathering of Rain (eBook) FREE for the best blurb!
This writer needs fresh minds to structure an attractive paragraph!

The winning blurb will be used to market Rain across varied sites, with an acknowledgement. And will appear on the paperback version!
or
and download the free sample (yes, this will drive download numbers up- always great- but not the main purpose!) and have a read.

Listed below are a few concepts found in Gathering of Rain to help you:
Rain of the Mantle
Guardians of the Dome
Maghdim Medaillon
Ruby of Enlightenment
Infinity, the dara-witch
Margus, the Darak Or
Great Dividing Forest
Otherworld, Rift, Arcana, Lost Race, Soltakin, Epic, Seers and Sorcerers, Swords…

Post a link to Rain’s blurb below or email your entry to davidsonelaina@gmail.com
Remember to tell me where to send your FREE copy of Gathering of Rain!
Deadline: 20 December

Thanks!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

SEITHE by Poppet - Review


SEITHE by Poppet

Erotic Thriller/Urban Fantasy

‘I am stranded between realms...’
Phoebe is uber angry and it dumps her into big trouble. She hurtles out into the dark without thought, uncaring of the dangers of night...and discovers great secrets hide under cover of that dark. She will discover everything is definitely not what it seems as first glance, that the veneer of daily life is exactly that, a veneer.
‘Somehow doing something utterly forbidden is always irresistibly enticing.’

Phoebe meets Seithe and is angry enough to accept his manipulations as a means to altering her current issues with men. Seithe seeks to awaken Phoebe to the truth beneath the veneer by using the magic of sensation to shock her into awareness. Phoebe needs to rely on her instincts, quickly.

Why? Everything is not what it seems...so, what does lie beneath? First, there is instinct. We have the power to use it well if only we could trust it. And then there is the great power in love, and what it is able to achieve for humankind. And for those beyond the restraints of mortality.
I am wholly entranced by Poppet’s ability to take known myths and legends and manipulate them into something close to believable, tying together varied strands into something that forms a whole...and that is as much as I’ll reveal at this point! I don’t want to reveal the crux of this tale- I urge you to discover it for yourself. Go on.

I will say Seithe is seriously sexy...and has an equally yummy brother...and sister. And if that doesn’t have you in the throes of curiosity...

I have been fortunate enough to review Poppet’s other books and while SEITHE isn't as visceral as those, it possesses an originality that is strangely real. Reality and fantasy knits together seamlessly to create an uber book. Poppet isn’t shy in dragging the reader into reaction once again. Brilliant indeed!

‘Call me poppet and drive a new pin in, why don’t you?’

This journey will leave you wishing it could be true.

Elaina J Davidson
November 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Majestic Table Mountain


Why did I post this? Because when I come across a good pic of the ol' table I grew up in the shadow of...I have to!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

House of Valla - Volume II is an eBook


Go on, have a look!
Free sample of both House of Valla and Gathering of Rain...
xx

Gathering of Rain - the eBook!


I took the plunge, friends, and uploaded Gathering of Rain as an eBook on Smashwords. It's available in multiple digital formats...and I'd LOVE your feedback!

Monday, November 15, 2010

EXPLOITS by Poppet - Review


EXPLOITS by Poppet


Erotic Thriller


I had gone from ‘hardly ever been kissed’ to ‘let’s get it on’.

There was nothing wrong with me when Gary got hold of me. I was full of energy, hope, anticipation and joy. I was old enough to look forward to leaving home. To determine my own fate. But then, the dashing prince of darkness crossed my path.

There is something entrancing about Poppet’s writing. I sat down to start the read for review...and read Exploits in one sitting. (Which I paid for after!) Thoughts of reviewing fled completely. Poppet writes from the heart, pulls no punches and it really is as if you sit in the room with her, listening to her voice. It feels personal.

Stephanie is somewhat innocent of the ways of men and has already been burned once. When she meets Gary, a gorgeous charismatic, she is wary, but also needs someone to love her. Her journey from independence to absolute dependence can be frustrating- you wish you could shout at her to get her act together- but also incredibly enlightening. I wonder how much we really understand of what goes on when the doors close on relationships, and Exploits certainly gifts us a glimpse. It is a harrowing journey through the psyche.

There is a bright side, too. Friendship. Without the care of true friends, I think Stephanie would have succumbed to desperation earlier than she did...and they were there for her when she hit bottom. Cherish your friends, always.

The setting of this story reveals that relationships are universal- it can be retold set in New York, London or Alice Springs Australia and it will be instantly recognisable. But, set in glorious Cape Town, South Africa? This reader was enthralled! The cosmopolitan side of Africa shines through.

Exploits could be considered a controversial book, dealing as it does with abuse, but I strongly recommend you read it. There are lessons here, whether it’s happening to you or to someone you know. I hope you feel empowered. Read it now.

All issues aside, though, I have to say Exploits is well told, a really good read, and Poppet is a writer well worth following.

Elaina J Davidson
November 2010


(will update with link to Exploits...)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Review Of Vampires, Zombies and GHOSTS, oh, My!

VAMPIRES, Zombies and GHOSTS, Oh My!
(and Other Creatures of the Night STORIES) – Anthology Edited by Eve Paludon

Published by http://notreebooks.com/

Recently I have rediscovered the short story after a long hiatus. Generally I prefer a lengthy read, but I find the punchiness of a tale told in a few pages to have huge impact, particularly so when each is kind of off-the-wall, from the dark dungeons of the imagination.

Halloween is over for another year! All ghouls have receded into the woodwork of deadness...or have they? Vampires and zombies, ghosts and other creatures that go bump in the night don't give a whit for one night in a few hundred, oh NO! You may pack away your crazy costume, but you may not ignore a really good read.

From Heidi Mannan’s intriguing tale of a vampire trapped in weakness through JR Rain’s short but potent finale (wonderful imagery), you will be captured.

My favourite is The Bone Flute Maker by Carol J La Valley, a tale of humanity and its delusion after an alien race is rescued to become like gods. Her weaving of music throughout is quite brilliant.

And I simply must mention Eve’s tale, the lady with an imagination who put this anthology together. Pandora’s Boxes is a sweet story of love lost and two women who are receptive enough to deal with ghosts...and Pandora’s actual boxes sound like the kind of thing this reader would love to own!

Here are 16 tales bound to get your attention: an adrenaline rush, a sigh and a gasp, even a smile. To tell you of every tale will make for a too lengthy review, and I’d rather that you discover them yourself. If you enjoy a quick burst of strangeness, this is definitely for you.

Available for purchase on Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/27972

Elaina J Davidson
November 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Willows' Song

There is a place I pass on my way home every day, but, for whatever reason- no place to pull over, I am not the one driving- I have never stopped...until the other day. This place is nothing special in the grand design of nature and yet I find myself preparing to really look every time I approach, and do. I wish I had followed an initial instinct to begin a photographic record- to capture the moods and seasons day by day...ah, well.
I stopped because of floodwaters and snapped one single photo. Being too close, I only managed to capture a tiny section. Allow me to describe it to you. Image a terraced fold between two hills, the kind of place protected from the elements where sheep and goats sometimes graze, shaded in spring and summer by massive willow trees. When the waters come a gurgling stream meanders in the folds to overflow into the gully alongside the road as a lovely little waterfall. In winter it is wild, the trees bare...and so green it defies an artist’s pallet. As I said, nothing special in the grand design, a small nook between hills...and it calls to me.
The act of looking and knowing, however, is what makes it special. Those few sweet moments as I pass by inspire me. Perhaps I’ll stop another day and sit under the willow trees and be one with placid sheep and playful goats. Perhaps it is the call that counts and I’ll keep driving...and round the next bend with a smile.

Monday, October 4, 2010

First Four


Covers for the first four Tales from the Path of Shades. They may change again, but meanwhile I had fun playing with them!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I'm busy updating....

Have been very busy with edits (and therefore a bit M.I.A. for a while!). Busy with the updates to reflect said edits:

New Pages
Shuffling current pages
New book covers
New titles
New prologues...

My internet connection is scratchy and it will take a while (days) to organise the changes. The Gathering of Rain and House of Valla pages are updated so far...

Darkroom's Book Cover from Wild Wolf Publishing


Pretty cool, isn't it, when it happens?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Dreamtime


I find the legends passed word of mouth by the Aborigines of Australia absolutely fascinating. The concept 'dreamtime' alone is enough to send this writer into raptures.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Review of DARKROOM by Poppet


DARKROOM by Poppet

An edgy, erotic thriller/horror with supernatural undertones suitable for adult readers

Coming soon from Wild Wolf Publishing http://www.wildwolfpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-907954-02-3

You think beauty gives you rite of passage. Charm, a reason to take. Sex, a reason to lay waste, like a vampire.’ The angel Vengeance has spoken and we are terrified.

Shauna is stolen from her life and held in a darkroom, both figuratively and literally, trapped by a manic creature who believes he is an angel called Vengeance. Clad in leather armour, he captures her humiliation in digital and Polaroid snaps, the whirr of the shutter heightening Shauna’s terror. He must expunge her of sinful ways; train her to become the perfect vessel. This is a darkroom of fanaticism, a tribute to the fire and brimstone of the Old Testament, the kind that doesn’t allow light and reason. Shauna is subsequently trapped in dark room of fear very difficult to escape from...until she meets Victor, who swiftly takes on the guise of saviour.

Poppet delves into the psyche of a madman as well as his victim’s absolute fear with rare insight. The result is highly believable, this despite what is an extraordinary situation. Most of us haven’t experienced anything like to the events in this book and yet the reading takes us into a dark room with an immediacy that is almost visceral. Her descriptions are fresh and also create images like to a digital snap in time: Petrified like wood, frozen like a bug captured in amber...
DARKROOM is an apt title; intuitive and fitting references to photography are used to effect throughout and further the analogy. Because it is written in first person, the reader is immediately there, part of an intricate plot, and feels along with Shauna, Victor and Vengeance. Quotes from the Old Testament are simply hair-raising, employed as they are to underscore Vengeance’s behaviour. The narrative therefore has both a biblical feel and is gut-wrenchingly present.

On a lighter note: as a South African now living abroad, I find Shauna’s ‘interrogation’ by two South African policemen, who are clearly not comfortable with the English language, quite the farce...and highly amusing. ‘You is a loner with no alibi...do you have childhood issues with mans...?’ and more; I’m smiling as I write this, can’t help it...

I have to admit DARKROOM took me outside of my comfort zone...and I enjoyed the ride! This is a book very hard to put down; every chapter takes the reader further in. Be warned: you will feel the need to read it start to finish...perhaps you won’t even break for a cup of coffee...

DARKROOM grabs you by the gut and yanks you into a netherworld of emotion and reaction.
Let me leave you with this: ‘She is no longer the sinner, I am.’ Is this Vengeance?
Grab a copy!

Review by Elaina J Davidson
September 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

ART for our WRITING world


I'm fortunate to know really amazing artists and every time I see their work, not only am I blown away by talent and colour and fantastic works, but also see it gracing book covers. The writer in me ever has a gleam in her eye when she sees images like to the ones on display here!
These are a small selection of a really good friend's work. Everything Shaune paints has absolute atmosphere and I'm sure you can SEE it on a book cover...go on, close your eyes and SEE it!
Here's the link for Shaune's blog: stop by and browse more of her work. Details to contact her for contracting for art for your book can be found there, or pop me an email quoting the title of this post. http://shaunesartgallery.blogspot.com
We paint with words...but, boy, sometimes art really is worth a thousand words and more!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

From me to you

You know how it is. You have this to do and that to remember...and somehow you overlook something really important. To say thank you.

So this is for you: THANK YOU.

Thank you for stopping by to read. Thank you for all the great comments on my Facebook page (and support!). Thank you to those who have read my work and offered invaluable advice. Thank you to every reader on Authonomy that supported me and left wonderful comments. And thank you to everyone I am again overlooking because this saturated brain of mine can't remember!

Without you, none of this would feel quite the same. Smile, you know who you are!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Another favourite from Robert Frost

I have wished a bird would fly away,
And not sing by my house all day;

Have clapped my hands at him from the door
When it seemed as if I could bear no more.

The fault must partly have been in me.
The bird was not to blame for his key.

And of course there must be something wrong
In wanting to silence any song.

(this one always gets to me...cannot understand how anyone cannot appreciate this kind of beauty)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Amazing!

Four days of enforced NO INTERNET and it was amazing! Now, I always say I'd just die without a connection to the world out there, but I must tell you I suddenly had so much time on hand. Spent days writing without interruption, LOVED it!

And now, back on air...and quite happy, too. Quite the conundrum, isn't it?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Synopsis

I am posting a rather lengthy synopsis on The Synopsis Page. Would love feedback.

It is a work in progress and I'm also reworking Gathering of Rain into two volumes, each standalone- the synopsis, therefore, will change if I'm happy with what I achieve...will post updates...

The Divergent Path



The Road Not Taken


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

Exposure!

I have posted about this before, but right now my frame of mind tells me it's time for a good old moan again. And the gripe is: when do writers actually write if they (me) spend so much time on exposure? Log into all the sites we try and maintain in the name of 'exposure', spend some time on each in the hope of a magical solution to the publishing conundrum, and then go away to write? Is that how we do it? NO. We get bogged down! And by the time we sit down to some work, the creative spark is fizzling away.

If anyone out there knows of a way to post in one place and have it appear on all our sites, please let me know. Would love to do it once only!

Moan over...time to click the publish button and get on with writing....

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tales from the Path of Shades


This is the current avatar for Tales on Facebook. The link to 'LIKE' and follow updates is in the righthand column. Go on, click!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Part 2 – THE ALPHABET CRUCIBLE

And the saga continues with...

...N is for NELLY.

LOL! You know how when you have to spell a word over the phone using other words? Yep, N for Nelly every time!

O is for OSTENTATION.

...just to prove I do know ‘bigger’ words!

...P is for POPPET.

Hello, Poppet! Can’t have a crucible without a Poppet. Never have I known someone so creative, clever and filled with energy and drive. Through everything life can throw at us- thanks for being an inspiration.

...Q is for QUERY.

The bane of writers! Query, query, query...argh, enough said.

...R is for RELAX.

Particularly relevant after sending a query out, ha ha! Have to force a state of relaxation upon the mind when waiting. Does one ever get used to it? I think even the Steven Kings of the world must wonder if the new book is good enough for public consumption...oh, to be a Steven King...

...S is for SPIDER.

Yep, spider, not Steven! Why spider? I don’t know if any of you fellow (ex?) Authonomites remember the Pet Hates thread in the forum- well, Jeff Blackmer (hello Jeff!) revealed an incident in the shower with a spider as watcher...I still laugh about that! (probably because it’s happened to me)

...T is for T.V.

Aarghhhhh!

...U is for UNDERSTANDING.

I could get very philosophical here, but won’t bore you. Suffice to say, understanding of self (and therefore our creativity) is of paramount importance.

...V is for VISTA.

No, not the operating system! Great spaces and views, the kind that fit into epics, whether movies, books, poems or, simply, what they eye beholds. Very special, IMHO...

...W is for WIMPLE.

Couldn’t think of another word in my sleep-starved state!

...X is for XYLOPHONE.

Because that’s the one we used in school for X!!!!!!!!!!!!

...Y is for YES.

‘Yes, we would love to publish your book.’

...Z is for ZEBRA.

Again, a blank, and thus relied on that school alphabet! Don’t know if you had something different for Z; I grew up in Africa...and zebra it was and probably still is.

That fills the crucible...and ends a virtual wander in the dark. Hope you had fun reading!

Just to relate this to Path of Shades, here’s a list of ABC’s to whet your appetite:
A is for ARCANA (‘Those who came before’)
B is for BEACON (a city-world)
C is for CALTIAN (a dragon slayer)
D is for DINOR (a race and a world)
E is for EPHNOR (almost sentient birds that make music with their feet)
F is for FUMA (a Deorc mind-delver)
G is for GALILAN (capital city of Valaris)
H is for HALARI (an academic and teacher)
I is for IGNATIUS (member of the Kaval)
J is for JIMINI (member of the Kaval)
K is for KALLANON (the Glittering Darkness, commonly known as Dragons)
L is for LUVANOR (the Valleur sister world)
M is for Margus (the Darak Or)
N is for NATURALISTS (pagan cult on Valaris)
P is for PHORLAN (Valleur word for ‘crossroad’)
Q is for QUILLA (feathered magician)
R is for REDLEF (month of autumn)
S is for SIRLASIN (a Valleur Elder)
T is for TORRULLIN
U is for ULTRAIN (Torrullin’s innkeeper reincarnation)
V is for VALLORIN (Valleur king)
W is for WIXEL (a site guardian on Beacon)
(if you read carefully, you’ll note there are 3 letters missing...ah, well)

All the best
Elaina

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Page 100 - Shadowland

Torrullin waved understanding and headed that way.
Coming upon her from different angles, they found Lowen giggling with a bunch of women ranging in age from ten to eighty. Barring the young, the women were fortifying themselves against the cold with some stiff drinks. She saw Elianas first and patted a space beside her. He sat, accepted a drink and was soon the centre of attention and fending off some bold gropes.
Torrullin, watching unobtrusively, smiled. Elianas seemed suddenly younger, more innocent…like the young boy he had once been. Lowen’s, however, was an almost desperate gaiety. His smile slipped, looking at her.
Once he turned his back on Saska for this woman, and now he was doing the same to her for Elianas…then again, the precedent with Elianas existed in a time that was ages old.
Enchanter, where the hell are you?
At the lake, Quilla. We found her.

This place is a madhouse.
Just then a cheer was raised. A team of skaters had taken honours. Lowen looked up and saw him. Leaning over Elianas, she whispered something, and then stood up to make her way unsteadily to him. She virtually fell into his arms, and he was disappointed when she caught her balance in time. A moment later Elianas had laughingly excused himself and followed her over.
‘Lowen, having fun?’
‘Two days ago they just started packing it in,’ she laughed.
Torrullin looked around. ‘Skating competitions, angling, marathons, skiing, hiking, sailing…who’d have thought Valaris would be so popular?’
Elianas had a regretful look. ‘A beautiful world. I’ve never been here as myself.’
‘We could take a tour,’ Torrullin suggested.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Page 100 - Sacred Space

‘It is connected. All intelligence will form a picture that Torrullin will use to pin-point an entrance time.’
Silence.
‘Saska?’
She sighed. ‘It just occurred to me how easy it would be for the two of them to stay lost out there.’
‘No. Torrullin has made promises he intends to keep. He’ll be back.’
‘Then I wish she stays lost,’ Saska muttered. She threw her hands in the air in horror. ‘Ignore that. He’ll never return to me if she stays lost…and I don’t wish such a fate on her.’
They walked on in silence.


Eventually they entered a chamber that had the look of a farmhouse kitchen, one used frequently by the aromas. A big central workspace held dishes and fresh vegetables. A woodstove further back had a boiling pot of something extraordinarily aromatic- a meat stew of some kind, said Declan’s nose, and his stomach rumbled. Copper pots and pans hung from hooks, as did bundles of herbs. A large basin and counter contained all manner of clean crockery and cutlery. It was a working kitchen, and welcomed him like a prodigal son.
Saska grinned at his expression. ‘Caballa’s special and there’s bound to be enough.’
‘Thank you, Lady Goddess,’ Declan said fervently.
‘She’s probably through there.’ Saska pointed out a sunny herb garden beyond the kitchen and beyond that a sitting room beckoned with comfort.
Declan frowned, squinting. ‘I thought it was just the two of you.’ He could see far more than one form moving in the sitting room.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

Part 1 – THE ALPHABET CRUCIBLE

I’m a restless sleeper. Twitchy leg syndrome (if there is such a thing) tends to keep me awake and aware for a fair while...if hubby’s snoring doesn’t! When I do fall asleep, however, it’s the oblivion of the truly exhausted, truly dead or truly drunk- an ‘event’ of epic proportions would probably completely pass me by!

To get to my point: picture this: in bed, all quiet, can’t sleep, start thinking. Feel familiar? Start ‘writing’ in my mind. Compose whole books that way...and forget most of it in the morning. Also familiar?

The upshot is THE ALPHABET CRUCIBLE...and I thought I’d share it with you. If hubby, kids, friends, neighbours...and the neighbours’ cat...allows enough time to sit down and do so...

Read/like all, some, little or none of it, doesn’t matter- nothing serious here!

Let’s kick the crucible off with A is for ATTENTION.

Attention to detail? Argh, not now, not in this. No edits, no structure, just rambling thoughts. Still, hope I have your attention, because...

...B is for BALONEY, BLARNEY, BULLSHIT.

Baloney makes me thing of pink lunch meat and Blarney puts me in mind of the Blarney Stone in Ireland. A Scottish friend asked me a while back if I kissed the Blarney Stone on my travels around the Emerald Isle and I have to admit I didn’t. Wonder now if I would have...hanging out from a hole in a castle wall to kiss a place thousands have left their mark on? Not certain, not at all certain, no.

Now, bullshit: one can write epics. From the actual bull’s shit to the great lies folk tell. Best to toss it into...

...C is for CRUCIBLE, that melting pot that transforms something and something into something else.

Have to smile as I write that. Not only does it make little sense, but while laying in bed and ‘writing’ this I almost chose some other succinct words for C (ruder ones!)...not certain how deeply that would shock you, though. Use your imagination and while you’re at it, consider...

...D is for D***...ha ha ha ha ha!

What exactly are you thinking now??? D is for DOLL! (if someone ever dares calling me ‘doll’, be warned). I’m amazed by how many four letter words I can come up with in a few seconds- damn, dirt, dent- so it’s your mind that’s on a tangent, not mine! In keeping with one-track-mind here...

...E is for EROTIC...no, no, meant EXOTIC! Did too!

Exotic places, exotic names, exotic foods, exotic flowers...the word ‘exotic’ ever conjures tropical, doesn’t it? Is that continuing bias from history, when ships sailed from cold lands sailed into humid ports to discover something exotic? Or do we still today consider tropical lands as new and strange? Maybe. And maybe not.

Personally I’m not big on the tropics- too many bugs and snakes and stuff. My hair frizzes in humidity...and that is to be avoided at all costs!

...F is for FORMALITY.

We use it all the time. Even here, writing to you. No one really knows another, not in everyday life and not across the spaces between us. We choose our words in much the way we choose the format for a manuscript. Why are we so afraid to be ourselves, honestly, truly ourselves? We believe we can achieve that in our writing, but even there we are bound by certain ‘rules’...and thus something is lost. It can be as innocuous as an editor requesting a certain sentence be removed. This may not be a big thing and may even cause greater flow in the tale, and yet...what if that particular string of words actually revealed the real you? (just saying, as Absolution would say!)

Fine, way too serious...let’s lighten it some...

...G is for GURU.

I’m sorry, but the first image that comes to mind is a crazy monkey dancing in a white skirt...heaven knows why! Next to mind is Ghandi...NO, I’M NOT COMPARING GHANDI TO A MONKEY! If you think that, you’re the one in trouble!

(I know I had something extraordinary to say about the concept ‘guru’, but now, the day after, can’t remember...must have snoozed a bit after G...)

...H is for HIS HISTORY HAS HIM HAMSTRUNG.

Alliteration out of hand...because it’s...well, because...don’t need a reason.

...I is for INK.

This puts me in mind of the days before I owned a computer. Much longhand on scrap paper because the writing bug had bitten. Lots of coffee, then and now and always!

...J is for JELLYBEANS.

When the coffee gets too much, jellybeans are a great substitute! No one here likes the black ones...and thus I end up with a host of them. Of course, that depends on...

...K is for KLEPTOMANIA...the jellybean thieves!

...L is for LAW...which I cannot seem to lay down to the sweet stealers!

...M is for MUSE.

Laying in the dark, this seemed an obvious choice for M...and now has me stumped. Again (strange how the mind works), I have forgotten my great exposition on the word ‘muse’. Of course, there’s a lot to say, but I want to remain true to the night-time creative spurt and not now attempt to say something I didn’t think then. ( it had something to do with Poppet and her muse...)

And that’s the first 13 in the crucible. Tune in later for part 2!

Having fun with this
Elaina

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Page 100 - Animated Spirit

Chapter Nine

The great plateau of Grinwallin
Same night

He hunkered down on the unmarked turf. There was no sign, not even the slightest mound or depression to show that Neolone’s mortal remains lay buried in the level plain that was Grinwallin's plateau. But he was there and the place was forever etched into his memory.
Torrullin touched his chest, an unconscious gesture from the past when the Dragon on his chest had been the symbol of leadership. The Dragon Neolone hadn’t just been a symbol, a physical manifestation of sovereignty, however, but alive, sentient, a force in battle. He still missed the creature. In the end only the damned Dragon had known him.
Sighing, he rose. It was so ephemeral. If Neolone, millions of years old, didn’t survive, how could anyone expect to? Even the Immortal Guardians were now gone, but for one Centuar, one Siric and the Q’lin’la. Of the Ancients only the birdmen, Declan and the Senlu remained, the latter only because they had re-risen two thousand years ago. Belun was next in age and then himself, although the two of them were not close to Ancient, with Belun having the greater claim. And when all was said and done, the only true Immortal companion he could expect to be with him into goddamned eternity was…Teighlar. There was no one else. He turned to study Grinwallin in the moonlight. Paper lanterns lit the streets and courtyards in pools of colour, unseen from where he stood, so that he saw the silvery tips of roofs and walls with the suggestion of colour rising up.

Page 100 - Walker of Realms

The urge to fight this enemy departed when the Dinor spokesman revealed they had no quarrel with humans. They hadn’t come all this way to mete death out indiscriminately, and Torrullin’s mind moved into negotiation mode. He and Tris would appear as human to these…and thus there could be a way to turn them from this course, negotiate a settlement…maybe…until Camot and Krikian were dumped at the temple’s steps. Golden hair and skin and yellow eyes. Unmistakable. Both men were trueblood.
Torrullin looked around, motioning for Tristamil to stay up on the platform. Many. Too many. And he couldn’t employ the Voices. He’d never again use the Voices…but he had broken that promise before.
‘The Valleur evacuated when they heard Margus was coming,’ he said, buying time.
An ugly people. Short in stature, an average of about five feet, but brawny with heavy muscles. Strong, familiar with toil…or war. More likely was raiding, preying on each other, but united now in this quest, an absolution from an ancient oath. Hairy: thick, bushy, dark hair, with full, heavy beards, dark hair on the backs of their hands. Generally swarthy, although a few sallow complexions were in evidence. Square faces, big noses with flaring nostrils- also hairy- and deep-set eyes under protruding brows. They were almost pre-historic in make-up, but their eyes swiftly belied a prehistoric way of thinking, revealing that they were more than first appearances. Not only were the eyes sharp in intelligence, but also startling in colour. There was not a pair of dark eyes among them; startlingly pale- black irises encircled by opal-coloured pupils so light it bled away into the white. There was nothing prehistoric about it; these were the eyes of sorcerers. Unsettling. Disturbing. They wore leather breeches and knee-high boots with blackened spurs protruding from the heels- horse riders or just naturally vicious? Heavy fur coats, roughly worked and smelly, enlarged already broad shoulders, and heavy scimitars hung from a leather harness looped from one shoulder across their barrel chests.

Page 100 - Glittering Darkness

Torrullin listened, lying against the pillows and rubbing gritty eyes into wakefulness as his mind grew ever sharper. Tanos paced up and down, talking, explaining, describing. It was the first time he’d been in his son’s private chambers, but he saw nothing, not even the continuing evidence of Saska’s life there. Seeing that blindness and the single intensity, Torrullin knew his father wasn’t being fanciful. Although Tanos would never scoff at another’s dreams, he tended to come down hard on his own…but not this time.
It required deciphering. Torrullin interrupted mid-flow. ‘Tanos.’
Tanos ceased pacing and rounded on him. ‘You don’t believe me!’
‘On the contrary. And we need clarity on it quickly.’ Torrullin rose from the bed, naked, to dress- the black, as ever, as Quilla would snort. He muttered darkly as his long hair caught in the studs of his sword belt, causing Tanos to grin. Torrullin’s one vanity now was his hair, but how it could irritate him also. It was the reason he, Tanos, kept his own locks to a manageable shoulder length.
Torrullin vanished into the bathroom and when he came out again his frown had deepened. He stood in the doorway.
‘What?’ Tanos asked worriedly. In the interim he’d glanced about the bedchamber to see Saska everywhere and now felt the overriding urge to escape.
‘My hair,’ Torrullin muttered. ‘It is time to cut my hair.’
‘What?’ It was an explosion of relief, and then he was slightly peeved. They had more important matters to hand. ‘Now? Torrullin, for pity’s sake, just tie it back.’
Torrullin raised a finger. ‘The Valleur always shave it off before battle…’
‘Dear gods, you aim to take it all off?’ Tanos was aghast.
Amusement came. ‘No, I’d not go that far. It is, however, a vanity out of place at present and I probably won’t have the time to coddle it anymore…and truthfully it irritates the hell out of me.’

Page 100 - Ancient Fire

Chapter Thirteen

Silas Island
Silas Bay

For centuries the people of Silas Town told of how the Great Dividing Forest shut the clanlands off from the continent, but both north and south discounted it as ravings of drunks and criminally insane.
Silas had access to both the Nor and Meth Peninsulas and saw well the lie, but were disregarded, and the two peninsulas went about their business wholly unaware of each other as well. While the Nor wasn’t clan, they, too, were divided from the south and living with the same delusions, and as time moved on neither peninsula ventured to the other, too afraid of the rife piracy and lunacy of Silas. That situation existed long before Drasso and time has a strange way of engendering a comfort zone. Only Silas and Two Town, sea-faring types, knew the truth- the only contradiction in all this was the south knew of Silas Island and its shameful way of life. Unlike the humanitarian forays into Two Town, however, Silas was ignored, out of mind because it was out of sight, and there was the Forest to consider, and all manner of ills waited if one dared sail around the northern headlands.
Although Silas Island possessed only one named town, the land was in reality a gigantic city that spread from coast to coast in all directions. Silas Town was Silas Island and vice versa.

Page 100 - Gathering of Rain

After the Ritual’s success- that may not be revealed- the newly created Immortal lost his or her tail, a wrenching that not one overcame. Always they yearned for the freedom of the deep, and immersed themselves in water whenever the opportunity arose. They could return to their Mer states for brief periods, a concession made in the interest of long-term sanity, this tweaking having been decided upon after the first few Immortals lasted no more than ten years away from water. They died of sadness, nothing else.
The current four in the Dome had been a unit for four thousand years, three of them together for ten thousand. They counted among their blessings that no new, successful candidate had to experience the wrenching that accompanied the Ritual. They had not forgotten- they still yearned for Canolantis.
Of the four, Saska was the ‘new’ arrival. She was exceptionally lovely, with a slender, lissom grace. Her pale blue hair was almost as long as she was tall, loosely braided to hang over one shoulder to coil in her lap. In the interest of practicality she tended to cut it to a more manageable length when confrontation was at hand. As she sat listening to the revelations, the practical side of her nature was already contemplating when she would have the opportunity to take a scissor to it. She was dressed in soft green breeches and a loose tunic of the same colour, which complimented the bright green of her eyes. Her slender feet were shod in pale blue slippers reminiscent of elven shoes, and about ankles and wrists she wore slim silver bracelets that tinkled as she moved. She was a sylvan nymph with the strength of character to become an Immortal, and she was much tougher than her ethereal beauty revealed.
Her tinkling drew attention from Llettynn. All eyes swivelled to the Mer.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Time can be strange, an enigma

Time, the great puzzle. Sometimes we feel as if there aren't sufficient hours in a day and we hark to every minute to make it stretch to our advantage (often causing panic, of course, which is a disadvantage and removes available minutes). Other days we feel as if the hours stretch unending, we can 'hear' those seconds laboriously ticking on the clock in our heads.

Why is this?

Could it be state of mind? Could it be how busy we are...or not? Does feeling overwhelmed subtract time from what is essentially the same period allotted daily? And, conversely, does feeling at ease gift us additional hours? We could probably answer 'yes' to all of that, which means the concept time is seriously subjective...and has absolutely nothing to do with the actual measurement.

Well, I've been snowed under recently (therefore lack of new posts!) and asked myself 'why, oh why, is there never enough time???' Today I laugh at my frustration...seems I have it at my disposal- I simply need to manage it better.

Then again, the sun is out, it's silent and calm out...why bother with questions? Time to enjoy the warmth!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Stay or go?

The city was deserted due to the ferocious storm, which was bad indeed, and a harbinger of worse to come. There was not a soul on the eerily howling streets, but lit windows everywhere signified that all was well. Of course, the folk of Galilan had to know who was in the hospital; storm or not, the streets would’ve emptied anyway. No doubt some serious debates were in progress whether to stay or leave the city.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Glittering Darkness

Kallanon - Glittering Darkness

Kallanon is a Valleur word, but the Kallanon are also the Dragons and Dragonnes we meet in Glittering Darkness (Vol III)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Come with me to other worlds


Other inhabited worlds


Beacon – Pleses – Xen III – Cèlaver – Dinor – Pilan – Ceta – Giantor – Yltri – Ymir – Hutito – Canolantis – Marion Central – Fortani – Nera – Lax – Clintor – Scortas – Drinic Homeworld – Kashdar – Mir 4 – Plinta – Mirandas – Trin – Thisseldrum – Blentar – Dinoval (or Dinor Homeworld) – Titania – Luvanor – Tremmen – Merrix – Minea – Lari - Lexus – Lintusillem – Phenu – Sanctuary (Orb) – Mon Uno – Echolone – Akhavar – Avior – Fee – Glare – Entor...


There are a fair few worlds in Torrullin's universe. Some form backstory, others are visited in more depth.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's good to belong

McSee watched the faces. It was good to belong once more. Because he could be regarded as a traitor, he’d expected them to turn him away. It hadn’t come to pass. He understood one or two were reserving judgement, but he hadn’t been made to feel unwelcome. He had not, after all, betrayed them, and they knew that. Vannis and Tanos had rowed out to Little Paradise on hearing their hail, and when McSee leaned over the rail and said ‘Torrullin sent us’, Vannis had smiled and simply said ‘Welcome’. Tanos gripped his hand and then he made Lanto and Raken feel right at home. Lanto’s big ears were still pink at finding himself in such august company, his freckles less evident against rosy cheeks. Raken and Vannis had stiffened at the sight of each other, an instant and mutual attraction. Both withdrew from it immediately, and were uneasy in proximity.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Something hidden

The second object was a burnished copper ring set with an oval garnet. Kylan frowned; it seemed familiar.
Torrullin dived into his pocket…and pulled an identical one out. ‘A Mantle signature ring. It permits the wearer access to the archives. Merle would have had one; it is yours now.’ He glanced at his own ring, and then put it away.
‘May I use it?’ He didn’t really desire to; he merely wanted to know what it meant.
‘The ring is not hereditary, but you may use it,’ Torrullin murmured, and then he smiled. ‘I am, after all, the one who yays and nays in that department….not that the Mantle will have much power after this.’
‘I have one of those,’ Raken said guiltily. ‘Plunder, you understand?’
Torrullin laughed at her. ‘So that’s how you got in!’
‘Yep, but it didn’t help me get out!’
‘Well, you may use it anytime also, lady pirate.’
‘Um, no, I’d be arrested if I go near any law abiding centre,’ Raken muttered. ‘But thanks.’
Torrullin grinned wickedly, and Raken stuck her tongue out at him.
And Kylan drew the final object from the chest, the by-play going over his head. It was a small hexagonal disc, pure gold, embossed with strange configurations.
‘Gods!’ Vannis gasped, instantly ashen as if he’d seen a ghost.
Kylan looked at the Valleur, they all did. ‘You know this?’
‘Where did your mother get that?’ Vannis rasped.
‘Vannis?’ Tanos demanded as Torrullin reached for the disc. Kylan relinquished it to him without hesitation.
Llettynn glanced between them, seeing trust, and speculated that Torrullin could engender either complete loyalty or absolute mistrust. He wondered where his feelings lay.
‘It’s Valleur,’ Torrullin commented, turning the disc this way and that.
‘Of course it’s Valleur! It’s…its…shit!’
Kylan frowned darkly; Kisha gripped his hand.
‘Vannis, calm down,’ Tanos said forcefully. ‘Kylan doesn’t deserve accusation.’
Vannis drew breath and then cursed again as Torrullin started reading the pictorial language on the disc. ‘Do not read it!’
‘Bloody hell!’ Torrullin bit out, also frowning darkly at Vannis.
‘You of all people, Enchanter, should know better than to read the Valleur glyphs aloud!’

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Collage - Tales from the Path of Shades


To read...

I read. A lot.
Many say that to read too much is to disadvantage your writing. You are influenced by others and thus lose your unique style.
I disagree.
I find that I am inspired by others. New words, tweaked grammar and grand ideas are given, and even a sense of bravery is instilled- I dare to write about something in a manner considered strange...because another has dared.
I do not copy, know that. I am simply inspired.
And thus: read as much as you can!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

All Plentiful

Kar Akan - All Plentiful

Kar Akan is the valleur word used to name a planet in the Forbidden Zone, known in the present as Karakan, a Murs Siric enclave...for a while.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lycea, the Changeling

Averroes is a shy young woman. She is rescued as a teenager from the terror on the streets of Galilan by Avendeath, and in his care she begins to blossom. When she meets the half-Valleur she remembers her past (and her true name) and her renewed heritage gifts self-confidence and strength. The shy young woman gradually gives way to self-assurance. She, unwisely, loves Torrullin.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The dilemma that is Grinwallin

‘You are Grinwallin’s architect. She more rightly belongs to you than she does to us.’
‘I imagined her only, Teighlar. You and yours raised her and lived in her, gave her heart and soul. She is not mine.’
‘You are so stubborn, damn it. We should put it to the test.’
Torrullin jerked his way. ‘Gods, no.’
‘Worried, my friend?’
‘Yes, bloody hell. One doesn’t mess with Grinwallin.’
Teighlar pushed his face into Torrullin’s. ‘Why not?’
‘You have seen what she is capable of!’
‘Why is that? Why does she throw a tantrum when challenged? Why is she more than stone and time? Why does she react when you are up to something? Pray tell, why does she listen to you?’
Torrullin pushed the man away. ‘Stop it. You know why. You were there.’
Teighlar smiled sadly. ‘Tell me again she doesn’t belong to you.’
Torrullin sighed as well and turned away to stare over the plains. ‘Imagination is not everything.’
‘Yes, it is. Cities are raised on it and worlds settled and space is traversed in it. Sentience is imagination. It is first, Torrullin, the creator.’
Torrullin said nothing.
‘But I would take on your dilemma with Grinwallin any day…if I could exchange it for the fruits of my imagination,’ Teighlar said softly.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Religion on Valaris

Valaris has a policy of freedom of religion, and the following are the main players of both past and present:
Naturalists
Techno-cult
Followers of the Prophet Monchalar
Followers of the Deity Tanos (this ‘religion’ did not die even though Tanos himself lived on Valaris openly)
Order of Continuity
Various others have come and gone over time, and are footnotes in history, and others will come and go as time progresses.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Inspirational Art


A good friend of mine is also a great artist. I put a few together to show you...and I'd love to have her work on my book covers! Click on the title to go to Shaune's blog...

A boost when needed...

I hope y'all can read this! A great comment indeed.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Prophecy or warning?

The pages settled and Teighlar squinted over the book. ‘Here…’ He pointed vaguely and started to read: ‘In time beyond measure there lies a great mystery, one no man shall uncover without the synchronisation of heart, mind and soul. Let it be known that time is dependent on these factors, but not so the measurement of it. In much the same way is past, present and future presented, for heart is past, mind is present and soul is future. It is a truth that the heart heals, the mind soothes and the soul sees the potion of forever. Yet this is a mere portion of oneness, even as they are imperative in maintaining wholeness from the outset. In time before, time after and time to come, travel was, is and will be limited by the strength of such synchronisation, although it be granted that travel is able in artificiality, more so in magic, less so in mechanics. Yet, as in most ideals, there is exception; on an olden orb be the reality portal four in ten, but be warned, the way is filled with hazards and many dangers, and no journey should ever be undertaken lightly or without extreme thought. Travel negates time and time negates travel. Listen to the heart, hear the mind and know the soul is at greatest output when wish is will and will is wish. Friend, reader, listener, wish for will seeks an eternal companion, for no sentient should be alone in time unbound and yet therein lays error and trial. No sentient is created exact and same, thus difference is challenge, danger and also greatest gift. The mystery is revealed when hearts beat as one. Oneness lies in the flight of a beating heart, borne aloft only by wings of mist. Safeguard all your futures; flee from the shadows mist brings your way.’
Teighlar fell silent, and that silence stretched on, and then: ‘Who wrote that?’ Tristan voice sounded strained.
Teighlar passed the book over. ‘It is Luvan.’

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Coffee...

How many times hadn't he studied the situation? He was now at the point that none of it made any sense. How many times did one have to look at something to and understand? Before it became less than sum of its parts? It was soul-destroying doing it over and over again.
Torrullin sighed as he turned from the view of the ocean. So. There was a Timekeeper. How did that really affect him? Or Elianas? When all they had was time? They were the real timekeepers for pity’s sake. As he wandered into the stone dwelling he knew Elianas would agree with him. How not? The man had more secrets that any other- he would certainly see the need to step away from this.
He found the dark man in the kitchen where he thought to, brewing coffee. Elianas, for all his faults, had one major vice- the dark and bitter brew. And he wasn’t alone in that.
Torrullin smiled as he entered.
‘That’s a new blend.’
‘Fenu,’ Elianas muttered.
A raised brow. ‘how in hell did you manage that?’
A quick smile. ‘I have my ways.’

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tanos

Tanos has always been reserved and guards his privacy. As the tale progresses we realise this is due to grief and hurt over a woman he believes abandoned him in his past. Once back on Valaris, he can no longer hide. We discover he was born on Valaris and attained Immortality there, after the woman leaves. When he discovers she was pregnant, his pain is magnified. It is hard for him to accept Rain is his son, and when he does, he knows forgiveness may escape him.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Void

They fell through Eternity, and at first it was dark.
And then there was colour.
Parallel rings of colour flashed and dimmed as accompaniment as they hurtled through. They went far too fast to hold onto specifics, yet enough burned into retinas to prove those rings were snatches of parallel dimensions, alternate worlds, times and universes…and realms. There was life, marvellous and terrible life, to each.
And in the depths of the corridor through the rings worlds floated, worlds swallowed or failed or forgotten, worlds yet to be born. Bright stars curved in patterns and red giants and blue dwarfs. The fabric of cosmic mastery. So much, and yet in the vastness it was empty.
In such vastness they were minute, a skip in memory, and memory wouldn’t light an atom in this eternity. All that they were and would be was stripped from them until only pure soul remained. All that was physical was immaterial and although they made contact in the flashing dark, they felt nothing of each other…and felt everything.
They passed through the anti-matter pull of black holes, were tossed beyond the reaches of imploding stars and swirled in vacuum, crushed in gravity, and felt nothing. A wormhole flicked an errant tail, asteroids and comets played to silent music and heat blasted while cold froze.
And then, for a moment, but a moment, all slowed…and stopped. A crossroad in eternity. They were blind and at the mercy of something so great, no understanding would ever be.
And then they were forcibly pushed, breath-sucking death, into white light.
All consciousness fled, and sentience became another’s memory.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lifegiver

‘What do you know?’ he whispered wretchedly. ‘What am I?’
She bent closer to cup his face, which he did not feel, but the others saw his skin glow translucent gold. She didn’t speak, yet he heard her, but it wasn’t mindspeak; hers was a whisper of song his own talents translated into comprehensible sounds like to words, yet couldn’t be.
You will find him, Lifegiver.
He didn’t ask with words either. The man with dark eyes?
Him, yes, but the time is far away, far, far away from today. This is a chapter apart from that time.
Who is he?
Your soul, Lifegiver. Be patient. You are not ready this time.
This time? Lifegiver?
A beatific smile shone over him as she withdrew. You are strong, Rain. The time approaches to awake.
Destiny?
More than destiny. Completion. Oneness. The knowing and ultimate sharing with another. Heart’s Desire. The road there, however, is hard and filled with loss and pain, but know all is brought together to create you true soul. Be patient, Lifegiver.
She withdrew her whispering song from him and turned deliberately away to find Tanos. The communication, which rocked his established beliefs, was over. He took a step backward, still staring at her, then another, and halted like that, gripping the gem with white fingers.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A bundle of rags

A bundle of rags, that was their first impression of the obstacle in their path. As they had to step over it to continue on their way, they came to a halt before doing so, a moment’s curiosity that sought appeasement.
Lowen, a hand covering her nose to mitigate the stench emanating from the bundle, squatted and poked experimentally at it using a stick near to hand.
Her gasp of horror caused Torrullin to lean down, grip her and drag her aside. She instantly struggled free.
‘Stop it, I’m not a child!’
‘We swore to keep you safe,’ Torrullin said.
Meanwhile Elianas had knelt. He looked up as Lowen jabbed Torrullin in the stomach. For once he didn’t find the ongoing battle between Torrullin and Lowen amusing.
‘A woman,’ he murmured. ‘A few days dead.’
Sending Lowen a warning look, Torrullin crouched down. Together he and Elianas turned the bundle of rags over, both men gagging.
They stared down at a thin face. Any trace of beauty was lost in the ugliness of death.
‘Hunger,’ Elianas said. ‘Probably collapsed here never to rise.’ He surged up, swearing. ‘We are days from the city; how bad will it get? How long before we are numb?’
‘The real question is: how do we make it right?’ Lowen said.
Torrullin said it. In a voice filled with understanding, he murmured: ‘Lowen, this cannot be reversed.’

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Heavenly Music

Ephnor - Heavenly Music

The Ephnor are almost-sentient birds found on the islands of dreaming known as the Three Gates on Valaris, little creatures that make music with their feet as they walk...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Inspiration from humankind


Another example of life and art combining to lend inspiration. This was taken in Ireland and reminds me of the city of Grinwallin...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Chaos

Chaos was a kind word. Chaos was an impenetrable smog, cloying, dense doom, persistently on the move, coming, going, reeling, spinning, agitating as if it were alive and greedy, hungry, cannibalistic, needy, with half-seen inhuman, un-humanoid shapes that flitted and taunted, reached out, tried to touch…if it touched you died you knew this felt this did not like this…unremitting sickly glow lightning sparked and did nothing to dispel the thickening gloom, instead it terrified as if the lightning were a living entity in symbiosis with the life in the smog and the life that was the smog. Vapid chameleon eyes, sickly yellow eyes, cold snake eyes danced and challenged one after the other, coming closer, too close. Reptilian scales unlike any known reptile flashed unmade in the lightning, much the worse for only seeing part of the whole. Fangs as long as a man’s arm, dripping saliva the colour of pewter, as thick as mercury…and as dangerous- death would be very slow. Snatches of sight, too little to make sense of…chaos. Chaos that could destroy worlds.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Visitor in the night

‘Gods, I must be dreaming,’ Tanos muttered. ‘A nightmare.’

No reaction from the insubstantial form. Tanos studied it carefully. A nigromant was an apparition, an ethereal messenger from the mind of a tangible being, and able to traverse great distances in an instant. A nifty trick if the source needed to share something from afar...or needed to do so without risk. Which was it? Was the source afar or was it afraid of direct confrontation?

‘What do you want?’ Tanos demanded.

‘You are to accompany me.’

‘And where are we going?’

‘The Rift.’

‘Infinity sent you?’ Tanos almost laughed. The dara-witch was slippery, but he didn’t think her clever enough for this kind of ruse.

'I am commanded by the Arcana.’

He lost the power of speech then, and the ability to think coherently. What roiled in his mind was the meeting with Infinity on Mir 4 two weeks ago. He went because she threatened to poison Mir’s water sources. She spoke of the Arcana and a rift and he laughed in her face. As he left, she swore she would prove their existence...and here this creature was.

Power of speech returned. ‘I don't believe you.’

‘I am able to force compliance, Guardian. I suggest you choose the easier path.’

Loss of breath. Unable to think about why, he believed this apparition was exactly what it claimed to be. He felt it in icy shivers over clammy skin. He swallowed dryly.

‘Are you going to kill me?’

A hiss of a laugh. ‘You would be dead now. No, I am your means to proof.’

‘What proof?’

‘The Arcana are real. The dara-witch Infinity found us and we have agreed to be the leverage she requires. If you desire to save Valaris from annihilation, come with me. You will be returned to your bed after, I swear.’

Heat wave: cold skin. The night was not what it was when he set the air to circulate faster. Tanos rose and dressed, retrieved his sword from the floor, strapped it on. If he was returned to his bed, he would not be sleeping in it too soon.

‘I am ready,’ he whispered, and silently prayed to all the gods in the universe to watch over him.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dreamscape tunnel

The tunnel elongated, the kind of action featured in dreams where nothing was as it seemed. The trunk walls curved strangely, first bulging out and then curled inward to form an impenetrable ceiling. All light extinguished...and returned in spotlights. Every sense of comfort vanished.

Elianas laughed in disbelief. So many ages he’d had, and the taunts came in the form of a dreamscape? He had expected more. He’d expected challenge.

He stalked forward, every step revealing his disdain for this mundanity.

Whispers dogged him, inane sounds that contained little meaning and merely served to underscore ordinariness. If someone desired to frighten him and throw him off the scent, this certainly wasn’t the manner in which to achieve it. Where was imagination? This tunnel lived in the nightmares of children only.

He walked on with a smile, expecting dreadful creatures with fangs and vicious intent, perhaps even an otherworldly screech or two to round the whole off.

It was the rain that changed perception.

It began with a drip, drip, drip on the very edge of hearing.

A smell of earth.

Elianas came to a stop. A storm would be more fitting in this type of dreamscape- rain, slow drips finding chinks in the armour of the tunnel ceiling, signified...reality.

What did it mean?

Speak in others' tongues...

Creating a world and civilisation is quite a challenge...and a lot of fun! Besides the calendar for Valaris, I have also delved into another language. Not quite A-Z, but a word here and there to show difference.

I'll post one from time to time:

Trebac - kinfire

'the blue sparks that signify a meeting of kin, particular to the House of Valla'

Thursday, May 13, 2010

VALARIS CALENDAR

Valaris follows the moon in marking time and seasons. The calendar is therefore lunar:

Fourteen phases – fourteen months
Ten days dark of moon and twenty-two days light – thirty-four days/month
476 days/year

Months:

Snostirl
Istelgor
Festwun
Grensceot
Skileiken
Solsuite
Hatubrath
Fainscan
Cludcast
Redlef
Haerfell
Redbouer
Dormire
Blizzird

Equinoxes fall on the Full Moon and Solstices at Dark Moon. Valaris has a 19 hour day

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Stone gorilla

Inspiration and art in real life. This 'gorilla' gets me every time!

Saska

Saska is a Mer initially withdrawn in the Dome of the Guardians. On Valaris, however, she discovers her fiery nature, and this is largely due to the influence of Rain. His presence alone begins to change her, but her attraction for him takes her forward in leaps and bounds.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Art in the Dome

The ceiling of the Dome was similarly segmented into fourteen, creating the illusion that the vaulted arches met overhead without the support of buttress and pedentive. Being of magic, any support was illusion. Each segment was the genius of a master artist: the mosaics overhead were of incredible variety and hue, and depicted stylised scenes exceptionally beautiful and horribly grotesque. There were winged creatures soaring over mountain peaks of emerald, violet, tangerine and sapphire. There were water scenes with sleek, silvery mer-beings half leaping, half diving. Battle scenes with humanoids sitting astride amazing four-legged, winged creatures. And darker images: things black, mud, scarlet, and plutonium green; things animalistic, fanged and wading through rivers of bleached bones. By far the most frightening were hand combat scenes, the combatants of both sides committing terrible atrocity. It was art, it was honest and it was truth.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Deities

Avendeath looked from one man to the other. McSee already had a schoolboy crush on his gentle, shy Averroes, and that was trouble, him being so big and, well, crude in a way. Rain had a hidden agenda, the shadows in his eyes spoke of it, and that was greater trouble. He glanced at Averroes and sighed sadly. She was looking at Rain with an enigmatic and mature expression. Rain and Averroes, who should have sat side-by-side. He cursed in silence.
‘I’ll start packing,’ he said and rose from his armchair. As he left the room he waved his right hand and snuffed the candles, plunging the three within into darkness. He walked out unapologetically, and Rain snorted a laugh.
‘And that?’ McSee asked in the dark.
Averroes lit a lantern. ‘He thinks we’re ganging up on him. He’ll be fine.’
‘Yes, well, now nothing stops those kids,’ McSee muttered. ‘I’m going to check…’ He followed Avendeath into the house and they heard him call out, his footsteps receding swiftly.
‘You said nothing of the Oracles,’ Averroes said into the silence that came after those footsteps silenced somewhere.
‘That comes later,’ Rain returned. He put the chairs back into their corners and pulled the drapes behind Avendeath’s armchair for light. It was gloomy non-light as if thunder threatened.
Averroes snuffed the lantern and watched him stare into the courtyard at the back of the house. It was paved, had shrubs in pots, an empty wash line and a gate on the far side. ‘I don’t recall where I was born,’ she said abruptly.
He turned. ‘Neither do I.’
She nodded as if it confirmed something she suspected. Recalling, for them, went beyond the age when a toddler could hold onto memories. Then: ‘You believe there is more to the gathering at the Well than north and south and the bringing together of the Oracles and Medaillon.’
She saw too much, and had a greater maturity than Avendeath believed. ‘North and south were both ultimately responsible for Drasso’s death.’
‘You’re saying Infinity is behind this.’
‘Yes.’
‘And there is a plan in place that requires four northerners…and us.’
‘And others,’ Rain added.
‘The Deities.’
‘Yes.’
‘Why not tell Avendeath?’
‘He worries too much for you already.’
‘I am not that weak,’ Averroes frowned.
Rain turned away. ‘No, you are stronger than anyone yet realises, and that is a good thing.’ Or very disturbing. He left the chamber after a moment, leaving her to tidy away the wine and tea.

Granite slab

Seven children sat on a granite slab, cross-legged, hands relaxed on knees...and entirely unmoving and expressionless. As if formed from waxen rock. All wore red, silken tunics that shivered and folded in the breeze, the only movement.

It was eerie.

Torrullin crouched before them, scrutinising each in turn. All were blond and blue-eyed, all boys. Flawless skins. Angelic perfection.

Uncanny.

‘You must activate them.’

Torrullin glanced up as the birdman stepped in beside him. They, like the living statues, threw no shadows. A sun glared from on high...but he couldn’t now deal with that strangeness as well. He faced the children again.

‘Activate them. Are you saying they are manufactured?’

‘Manifestations.’

Torrullin rose and stretched. ‘I hesitate to ask.’

Quilla smiled. ‘And yet we shall not leave without solving this mystery.’

‘Fine, my feathered friend. Manifestations of what or who...and how is this perfection even possible?’ Torrullin waved in the general direction of the statues. ‘I have never seen a real child this unflawed.’

‘It is unnatural, isn’t it?’

‘Quilla.’

A shrug from the birdman. ‘I do not understand the how, but as to what? For it is what.’ Quilla sighed and looked up at Torrullin, squinting in the bright light. ‘These are voices trapped in form, unheard voices...more correctly, unheard messages.’

‘That implies thought, people...’

‘People long passed on. Leaving behind messages so important they have manifested in the guise of youthful angels. And before you ask, because even a man dead to every feeling would pause before this perfection.’

Torrullin nodded and stepped closer to the children. Reaching out tentatively, he touched the hand of the central boy, and then rested his fingers there, closing his eyes.

‘Faint resonance,’ he murmured moments later, and removed his hand and opened his eyes.
‘Not alive, but not dead either. How do I activate them?’

‘I assume Elixir needs to listen.’

A baleful stare. ‘I hate it when you do that.’

‘I know,’ Quilla laughed.

‘Listen,’ Torrullin muttered, ‘and hear.’ He abruptly glared at the birdman. ‘Important messages? Damn it, Quilla, you know how paths change when something untold is made tangible.’

‘Yes. And yet here we are.’

‘And we shall not leave without solving the mystery. Curiosity gets us into trouble every time, and still we grab the cat by the tail.’ Torrullin swore under his breath and folded down to sit in a cross-legged manner that mirrored the boys’. He didn’t say more and Quilla didn’t interrupt the process either.

Absolute silence descended, broken only by breath and sweat tracking lazily over cheeks.

Both spooked when the seven angelic manifestations abruptly slapped palms against chests. Their hands froze in that lifted position.

‘Oh, my,’ Quilla breathed out. He cleared his throat. ‘They are activated.’

Torrullin stared at the central figure. ‘I haven’t done anything yet.’

Quilla closed in. ‘Perhaps it’s proximity.’

Snapshots?

What are snapshots? Here, for me and for you, a snapshot is a piece written out of context from the main Tales. It may or may not be incorporated into the story somewhere, but meanwhile it serves as a prod into creativity...or is simply a fun exercise!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Another few words...

I'm sure you've noticed the gap in posts.

The reasons are varied:

1. Recently moved from the northern to the southern hemisphere
2. Did some major editing!
3. Made some big decisions on the format of my work (see post below this!)

Of course I'm still writing daily and thus have to structure my time for blogging, Authonomy (and others!), but here's to more frequent excerpts and updates from the universe of the Valla!

A few words on my creative journey

Gathering of Rain is the first Tale from the Path of Shades and is about RAIN being gathered to become something greater than he initially suspects. His journey starts as an unwilling sorcerer forced into action by the manipulations of an ancient enemy. By the end of the first Tale every reader will know there is great potential in Rain...and great danger. We could label this heroic fantasy, for there is heroism, but as Rain possesses dark spaces, it places him firmly on the Path of Shades.

How did Rain’s journey come to light? A few years ago I paged through a book on Alchemy, a dictionary of terms. I wish I could now recall to mind the author, to thank her for the proverbial light bulb moment that sparked this creative process. I do, however, recall the 14 steps to alchemical perfection she listed that started it all.

Those 14 steps, tweaked of course to fit an epic tale, caused me to grab pen and paper...and they also form the basis of the quest for Rain in Gathering of Rain:

1. Find the sacred rhythms of Pyllanthos.
2. Enter the Square Pyramid. .
3. Solve the riddle of the Obelisk. .
4. Play chess in the Queen’s chessboard courtyard.
5. Open the Three Gates.
6. Pray in the Round Temple.
7. Activate the Seven-sided Fountain.
8. Survive the Graveyard of the Ancients.
9. Surmount the rivers to the Lifesource
10. Travel the Tunnels
11. Solve the Maze.
12. Solve the mystery of the Circular Mystic Island.
13. Pick from the sacred rose-garden of Moshesh.
14. Climb the Tower of Stairs.

To further add impetus to creativity, I had a dream a while before said light bulb moment. Content isn't important, but what is, is the fact I was convinced, upon waking, I possessed 10 books I had penned while on a dream mission...I simply had to find them...or write them. The Ancient Oracles we learn of in Gathering of Rain parallel this- 10 sacred volumes of history and sorcery, and, yes, I have subsequently ‘penned’ 10 Tales:

1. Gathering of Rain
2. Ancient Fire
3. Glittering Darkness
4. Walker of realms
5. Animated Spirit
6. Sacred Space
7. Shadowland
8. Time’s Timekeeper
9. Alhazen’s Bridge
10. Siren Stone

Most of the above forms part of my query letter and I would appreciate feedback.

There is more to this journey: At first there was the encompassing term ‘Tales of the Valla’ and five volumes. Those five volumes seemed too large re the word count etiquette given out by agents and publishers, and thus 5 volumes became 10. Subsequent work I labelled as something else...but, in reality, all is part of one giant tale. Much soul-searching and time later, I decided to follow my instincts and returned to ‘larger’ volumes and chose the Path of Shades as the umbrella.

Only the last three volumes are still works-in-progress and I’ll create pages for each as soon as I am happy with how they begin. Meanwhile, browse the other book pages for the Prologue and Chapter One of completed Tales.

Have fun!

Elaina

An encompassing phenomenon

Dear Reader

Nobody is perfect. Neither perfectly good nor perfectly bad, to use a rather clichéd set of opposites. Each of us slots in somewhere along the line that stretches from idealism to wickedness...as do the characters you are will meet.

That line is life’s journey and I call it the Path of Shades.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Space Lattice

A space lattice, in the three dimensions, is any of 14 possible geometric arrangements of points, at which, at the very least, the components of a crystal may form…this is why crystal propulsion is so clean and so very efficient, to name but one effect.

A space lattice, in the realm of sorcery, is all of 14 possible and impossible arrangements in the geotic fields, and include the laws of necromancy and the location of high magnetic energy points of sacred sites.

A space lattice, in the fourth dimension and those beyond, is the 14 impossible arrangements of will and thought, where the continuum is temporal and spacial simultaneously, at which point space-time unfolds and space-folds are beyond measurable time.

In this lattice lies all possibility, where not even imagination has ever been. This is Reaume, and Ariann…and, yes, lest you forget, Lethe. Watch yourself, friend.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Monday, January 4, 2010

December Moon


Have you tried taking a photo of the moon? Real hard, isn't it? Terrible results, usually (unless you have a brilliant lens...but I'm talking the standard digital camera here).

This was taken a nothing-special camera...seems the light was just right and I managed to capture a bit more of the moon than I usually am able to.

Like this one.